"Paved the Way" program held for Black History Month

A large crowd gathered at Lowery Middle School's cafeteria last week for a Black History Month Program honoring those in the community who "Paved the Way" for the present leadership roles in Donaldsonville.

"Becoming an educator takes a special person," one announcer shared. "You will wear many hats. Instructor, counselor, advocate, parent, and sometimes just a good listener."

Honorees were those chosen for their service in the community and in education. For instance, Grace Vaughn was celebrated for 31 years teaching. Currently, Vaughn services 60 needy families each month in charity work. Jesse Bartley, who was recently given his own special day by the Ascension Parish government was also honored. Sen. Ed Price was honored, but could not be present.

In total, he list of honorees included:

Louis Polite, Ed Price, Reginald Pedescleaux, Catherine Davis, Grace Vaughn, Margaret Smith, Jess Bartley, Barbara Skinner, Ronald Washington, Gwen Price, Cheryl McKinney, Emelda Jones, Jevella Williamson, Eleanor Young, Prenella Julien, Della Irvin, Gloria Gauthreaux, Ollie Cooper, Joyce Gaingard, Jesse Brown, Eleanor Sherman, Jesse Sanders, Mildred Hammond, Mary Lee Green, Maxine Sherman, and in memory of Jesse Joseph

"I know you all had a hard job," Principal Daryl Comery said to conclude the event. "We're working at a hard time, too. There was a time in our community when you would come to work and you would hear about somebody young passing. That may have been one every five or six years . . .

"But since 2014 our kids are coming to school year after year, and they're losing people, some of their friends and relatives to violent crime."

Comery's message was one of hope. He shared that Lowery is currently experiencing a renaissance. The children added to the program with song and dance. But most memorable was a play carried out by the school drama club, which centered around a dream-like meeting between former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama with Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

It was said that the Obamas are the embodiment of King Jr.'s dream. The program concluded with group photos taken and a song by Ay'Sha Cheatham.

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